Partners more likely to spy online than Google

The study from Retrevo Gadgetology found that there is a lot of online snooper and tracking going on between people who know each other very well.

According to Retrevo, if you've ever wondered what the likelihood is that someone is reading your emails or text messages - or even tracking your comings and goings - you might be surprised to learn it’s more common than ever especially among spouses and parents and their children.

In its latest security posting, the firm cites the easy access to someone's emails, text messages and call history on mobile phones, laptops and other gadgets make it easy to invade someone's personal space.

With a sample size of 1,000 online people across all ages and sexes, researchers found that everyone’s personal information is, more times than not, left sitting on the kitchen counter, readily available to `curious' onlookers such as spouses, partners, boyfriends, girlfriends, significant others, or even nosy friends and relatives.

The study claims that around a third of respondents (33%) admitted to checking a boyfriend's or girlfriends email or call history on the sly. Slightly more married couples, meanwhile, snoop on their spouses (37%) and an even larger number of parents spy on their kids (37%).

The number of parents snooping is highest among parents of teenagers with 60% snooping on their kids - and possibly for good reason - as 14% of parents reported finding something they were concerned about.

According to Retrevo, when it looked at the data on snooping from a study conducted a year ago it were surprised to learn that snooping had increased across the board.

Overall the number of people under 25 checking their boyfriend's or girlfriend’s emails or call history rose from 38% last year to 47% this year.

Not only does snooping on emails, text messages and call history appear to more common today but smartphones with built-in tracking technology and portable GPS tracking devices becoming easy to use on someone without their knowledge, says the firm.

Whilst most respondents (68%) said they would never go so low as to actually gather latitude and longitude data about their spouses or partners comings and goings, over 20% of both men and women said a suspicion of wrong doing could get them to track their spouse or partner.

Parents also appear more willing to track their children's movements, something that Retrevo says suggests they are looking for peace of mind in being able to track their kids.

Against this backdrop, researchers found parents of teenagers appeared slightly more willing than parents of younger children to track their kids' whereabouts.

What’s Hot on Infosecurity Magazine?